With training camp starting in Cleveland on October 1, Right Down Euclid will be ranking teams from the bottom to the top of the Eastern and Western Conferences. Everyday I will rotate between conferences, starting with the East teams and counting up from No. 15 all the way to the best team in each respective conference.
I will give a quick synopsis of each team’s roster, some of their statistics from last year and why I think they will finish in the position that I predicted. Agree or disagree, stay tuned to RDE to see where your team lands in the 2012 Offseason Team Rankings.
No. 15 — Charlotte Bobcats (5th in Southeast)
2011-12 season: 7-59 (.106), fifth place in Southeast Division (1-14)
Offensive Efficiency: 92.3 (30th)
Defensive Efficiency: 107.8 (30th)
F – Bismack Biyombo
G – Matt Carroll
C – DeSagana Diop
G – Ben Gordon
C – Brendan Haywood
G – Gerald Henderson
F – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
F – B.J. Mullens
G – Ramon Sessions
F – Jeffrey Taylor
F – Tyrus Thomas
G – Kemba Walker
F – Reggie Williams
A new head coach in former St. John’s assistant Mike Dunlap will bring much-needed changes, but the Bobcats are still a couple well-executed drafts away from escaping the cellar of the Eastern Conference. Although the Bobcats picked up two very athletic defensive assets in Taylor (averaged 1.3 steals last season) and Kidd-Gilchrist (averaged 7.4 rebounds, 1.0 steals), Anthony Davis would have given this team much-needed height and identity down low.
Diop, Haywood and Mullens won’t be much help down low, but the Bobcats’ frontcourt headed by Kemba Walker, who showed a lot of promise in his rookie season, will be a strongpoint this season. Sessions will see favorable time off the bench, and could possibly start at the two if needed. Having a reliable wingman like Kidd-Gilchrist on the squad will make Walker a lot more comfortable, as the workload will be more evenly spread this year for a rookie who had to take on a lot in a bad situation last season.
The Bobcats still sport starters who on other teams would be considered first or second options off the bench, but it will be hard for Charlotte to copy their performance of last season. There are no stars on this team, just young players with high ceilings and veterans who are either washed up or should be taking their talents overseas. Another rough season is in store for Charlotte this season, so for their sake hopefully they get that No. 1 pick that they so desperately needed this summer.